Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hints, Books, and Slugs

In honor of this year's Spring Thing (there's still time to vote!) and the one-year anniversary of Blue Lacuna's first awkward steps into the world, I have three springtime updates to share.

First: the Blue Lacuna hints page has finally been updated and restored to the website. I'd purposefully taken it down before release, since I wanted to hear from people about which puzzles were stumping them, and I figured if hints were available I'd have a much harder time finding out. Unfortunately, an older version of the page remained cached by Google, so it seems everyone was getting their hints anyway, just in an out-of-date and uglified version. The new improved hints page is all Javascripty and fancy and, more importantly, now actually accurate.

Secondly: somewhere near the end of BL's development, I got the idea that I could convert the source text into a printed book on lulu.com, as a reward for myself when I finished: the thought of a weighty volume to place on my shelf and point to when people asked me how I spent my mid-20s was appealing. The book turned out better than I imagined, so I thought I might as well make it public in case anyone else wants to own a 738 page tome of adventure game source code, cost to print the thing be damned. I even threw in an essay on the making of the game (more specific than my recent article in SPAG), the original concept document for the project, and a glossary of Progue's slang. Just think, you could be the only one on your block and/or continent to own one! Check out a swoon-inducing Lightbox photo gallery if you still aren't convinced.

Finally, some personal news: I recently learned that I've been accepted into the Digital Arts & New Media MFA program at UC Santa Cruz. The campus is gorgeous, the faculty top caliber, and the program itself is fantastic. (I just need to get Emily Short a job there and I could have a thesis committee made entirely of IF fans.) During my time in the program, I plan to continue playing at the experimental fringes of what interactive stories can do, and am incredibly excited to become a Californian again this fall. Go banana slugs!

4 comments:

Emily Boegheim said...

Re secondly: That is very, very cool. Wish I could justify spending the $AU55 or so that it'd translate into. Looking at the preview, though, the text on the Praise page looks completely garbled...?

Re personal news: Congratulations!

Rubes said...

Awesome, congratulations Aaron! We'll miss you in Utah. I'll have to make sure you get to test Vespers before you leave. Do you think you might return here again when you're done?

Aaron A. Reed said...

Emily: yeah, for some reason Lulu's preview generator seems to have issues with some pages. The actual book is fine, though.

Rubes: I'm down for a Vespers testing session whenever! As for when I'm done, that'll be in 2011, after the monoliths have turned Jupiter into a second sun, so who knows what we'll all be doing then?

Ron Newcomb said...

Crazy congradulations on the program acceptance! (Finally, they recognize your innate genius, no?)

Wow. Paper. I haven't read source code on paper since that Dining Philosophers debugging nightmare as an undergrad. It looks like Inform 7 typesets well, though. A lot better than C anyway, which looks like an uneven stream trickling down the page. (Or COBOL, which required a novella's worth of paper for "Hello World".) I like how the prose is bolded. Nice touch.

Reifying your mid-twenties as a book is a frankly brilliant idea. I wish I had done something like that. Working in such a disposable field as software makes one wonder where one's life went.

(And my name's in the thankyous on the BL website! *squee*!)